Friday, 31 March 2017

Appropriating Dali: Pineapple-ism

(or perhaps, Dali's little known experimentation with Pineapple-ism)
It all began with the discovery of this cookbook . . . and then the horror that it didn't contain a single recipe with pineapple - fresh or canned!
So we thought we should correct that omission at a dinner party of our own!
"We would like to state clearly that, beginning with the very first recipes, LES DINERS DE GALA with its precepts and its illustrations, is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of Taste. Don't look for dietetic formulas here.
We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive and far too impertinent for you." The introduction to Les Dîners de Gala


Les Dîners de Gala, translated by Captain J. Peter Moore (original publication 1973) by Salvador Dali, Taschen, Köln 2016

Photographs from Les Dîners de Gala
Sue tried to confused us with a combination of surreal and so-real fruits

 and Greg's pineapple parrot's plummage was perfect
(Sculpted by Sue)
Phyl's philly filler

Phyl constructed the hors d’oeuvres according to her mother-in-law’s 1970s method of skewering pineapple with cream cheese and a glacé cherry.

 And the camembert cheese slowly melted beside Sue’s dehydrated pineapple

Thousand year old eggs.

“You certainly know these thousand year old eggs, one of the crowns o Chinese cuisine. We will not presume here to reach their ultimate perfection, but we will simply try to help you follow an amusing recipe which has the advantage of being prepared ahead of time.

First, boil the eggs for ten minutes in salted boiling water. Take them out, put them under cold running water which will make it easier to shell them. In the same water in which the eggs had boiled, add the cloves, sugar, vinegar, a lot of Tabasco sauce, the lemons (cut I eighths) and thyme. Boil for fifteen minutes. Shut off the flame, dip in the tea-bag and let them steep for 10 minutes.

In a jar, put the diced onions and garlic. Add the shelled eggs, and pour the brth so that the eggs are completely immersed. Close the jar and keep it on the lower shelf of your refrigerator.

Be patient for three weeks before opening the jar and serving. These eggs go well with cold meats and fish.” Dali

Noel preserved these eggs about 10 years ago. His advice – don’t eat them!!!
Noel’s non-edible novelty

Vegetable Pie  (with Greg's gourmet garnishes in bold)
1 roll of frozen dough for pie crust (puff pastry); 6 potatoes (plus sweet potato); 6 carrots; 10 oz of white mushrooms; 6 eggplants; 1 tablespoon of butter; 2 onions; 2 tablespoons of tomato paste; 1 pint of heavy cream; 1 egg
Using the frozen dough, line the bottom and sides of a mold with a thickness of ¼ nch. Keep some dough to make a cover.
The eggplants have been sliced (1/4 inch); sprinkle them with salt and let them stand for ½ hour.
Slice the potatoes very thinly; do likewise with the carrots and mushrooms.
At the bottom of the mold, put a layer of potatoes, salt and pepper, then a layer of carrots, mushrooms and eggplants. Start all over again, and finish with a last layer of eggplant.
With the rest of the dough, close the pie crust, being sure to wet the edges to secure them.
Bore a hole at the center of the “cover” so as to make an outlet for the steam. Using a knife, make a few decorative drawings (of pineapples) on the cover, and bake – 375F° – for 45 minutes.
During that time, brown the sliced onions in butter. When they turn golden, add the tomato paste and let the colour turn darker.
Add 3 tablespoons of cream, boil for 5 minutes, then mash.
Off the fire, add the remainder of the cream and combine with the egg.
Using a funnel stuck in the hole of the pie “cover” pour this sauce mixed with tomato paste into the pie filling. Bake for another 15 minutes and serve. (Dali)

Tropical Chicken (with Sue's surreal substitutions in bold)
1 tablespoon of oil; 3 shallots; 2 cups of water – 1 cup of rice; Cayenne pepper; 1 chicken; 8 oz of pine nuts; 1 package cream cheese; 1 slice of with bread; ½ cup of fig liquor – 1 tablespoon honey (as Sue wasn’t able to buy any fig liquor she steeped some dried figs in vodka for a couple of days and made a syrup); 1 tablespoon of vinegar – 2 tablespoons of oil; 4 shallots – 1 cup of water; 7 oz powdered almonds (omitted); 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Fry the finely sliced shallots in oil. When they become transparent, add the water; at boiling point throw in the rice. Add salt and Cayenne pepper. When the rice is cooked, all the water should be absorbed. In the rice add 2 ounces of the pine nuts (replaced by pineapple, chopped and browned in a pan), the cheese, and the slice of bread dipped in the fig liquor. Mix it all well and stuff the chicken. Sew up the bird.
In a saucepan put the oil in which the shallots are getting golden; add honey, vinegar, water, salt, pepper and put the chicken over the mixture. Cover and let simmer slowly. After half an hour add the powdered almonds. If the gravy becomes too thick, thin out with some water and fig liquor.
Let it cook for another good half-hour (or longer). Remove the chicken, and add the remaining 6 ounces of pine nuts, and the olive oil until it boils once and no more.

we ate this chicken
not this chicken

Apples n' ham (with Anne’s audacious additions in bold)
6 nice yellow apples; 1 large onion; 10 oz country ham; 1 egg; 12 thin slices of smoked bacon; 2 tablespoons of oil; wooden toothpicks
I suggest yellow apples for this recipe, since they impart an essential sourish taste to the dish. If, however, you use another type of apple, you will have to add two tablespoons of vinegar to the stuffing.
Make a large hole at the center of the apples, which is quite easy to manage if you are careful and use a pointed knife.
In such a manner, you will have cored the apples. Throw out the pits but keep the pulp attached to the core.
In a frying-pan, put the first tablespoon of oil, the thin strips of ham, the sliced onion and the pulp you saved from the (apple) cores.
Let it simmer over a low flame for a good half-hour, stirring now and then, while it cooks and dries up at the same time.
Taste it; if it is not tart enough – and it all depends on the degree of ripeness of the fruit – add some vinegar.
Now, fill the apples with the stuffing and wrap each of them with two slices of bacon, using the wooden toothpicks to secure the bacon and a slice of cheese cut into the shape of a … pineapple.
Brush with oil and bake in a hot oven – 450F° – for 20 minutes.
It may happen that the fruit will crack while baking, but they won't fall apart since the slices of bacon and will hold them together. (Dali)
Serve on top of grilled pineapple rings.


Peaches with almonds.
Soak the almonds and walnuts in cold water for 2 hours.
Crush very vigorously as you have to make a really smooth paste.
Then add the sugar combined with water and brandy. Mix well.
Whip the heavy cream to a whipped-cream consistency. Stop whipping as soon as it stands around the beater. Since we don't want to make butter, let's put the whipped cream in the refrigerator for another hour. Mix with the other ingredients.
Pour into a flat mold which you have already greased.
Put into the freezer for 1 hour, then in the refrigerator for another hour.
Meanwhile, split the peaches and twisting them around, detach them from their pits.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and fill the center hole with cranberry sauce (or pineapple jam). Light the broiler and put the peaches in the oven, at the bottom of a baking dish (with a little pineapple juice. Cover with foil.) Bake for 15 minutes.
Unmold the almond-nut mixture and put it over the very hot peaches. Serve. (Dali)
Just to simplify things – I beat the cream with a little icing sugar, no freezing, just refrigerating. And served in a bowl decorated with crystallised pineapple, chocolate silver balls and a Pineapple Princess, Anne


(montage-ists Les and Anne)


Illustration from  Les Dîners de Gala, translated by Captain J. Peter Moore (original publication 1973) by Salvador Dali, Taschen, Köln 2016


  1. Brilliant Anne! Bloody brilliant and awesome and fabulous! Wish I was on the guest list! xxx

  2. Just genius! Everything is better with pineapple. I nearly bought this book when I was interstate recently but it SO HEAVY, I thought I'd better not try it on the plane. I must get it now though!